For the VA executives who won't be receiving bonuses this year, comedian Jon Stewart had this to say: "To have the government promise you a benefit and then not deliver it, I can't imagine." But maybe the nearly 900,000 veterans waiting for Veterans Affairs Department officials to adjudicate their claims can, he suggested.
In the lastest espisode of "The Red Tape Diaries," Stewart continues to hammer VA for its inability to process benefits claims efficiently. "They've computerized their plan to computerize records," he announces in his "progress report" on the situation, where he uncovers a VA PowerPoint slide that declares "the enemy is paper."
VA's war on paper has created a "bureaucratic black site limbo" where records are held indefinitely, he noted wryly.
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Later in the show, Samantha Bee, in a skit that lampoons "Zero Dark Thirty," goes on a mission to locate the records of Iraq Army veteran Eugene Manning, who says he's filed four claims with VA since 2005, when he was injured in a bomb attack. Three of those claims apparently were lost. He says he's been waiting for a decision on his most recent claim for 330 days, nearly a year.
Noting that some veterans' claims have been quickly resolved after receiving attention in the press, Bee says, "All we needed to do was shoot 900,000 media interviews with veterans and shame the VA into taking action."